28 Apr 2024

Italy Pushes G7 for Coal Phase-Out Date Ahead of Energy Meeting, Sources Say

28 Apr 2024   
Italy is pushing for an agreement among the Group of Seven wealthy nations to set a target date for the phase-out of coal in power generation, diplomatic sources said ahead of a meeting of G7 energy ministers in Turin.

An agreement on this would be one step in the direction indicated by the COP28 United Nations climate summit in Dubai last year to transition away from fossil fuels, of which coal is the most polluting.

Italy, which heads the G7 rotating presidency this year, currently plans to turn off its coal-power plants by 2025, except on the island of Sardinia where the deadline is 2028.

At the G7 meeting this weekend Rome wants to persuade its partners - the United States, Britain, France, Germany, Canada and Japan - to set a common target date for the end of coal, Italian diplomatic sources told Reuters.

Rome is ready to bring forward its own deadline if it should be necessary to broker an agreement, the sources added.

Germany is resisting Italy's efforts on a coal phase-out deadline, the sources said, amid ongoing negotiations to find a compromise at the Turin gathering starting on Sunday.

Berlin is currently aiming to phase out its coal-fired power plants in 2030 but the fuel is still the country's second most important energy source for electricity generation.

Italy and Germany are also at odds over nuclear power, with Rome willing to say in the G7 communique that power produced by nuclear fission is among the options G7 countries can choose to reduce dependence on fossil fuels.

Rome also wants to spell out support for research on new generation nuclear reactors, the sources said, but Germany, which mothballed its last nuclear power station in 2023, is against voicing support for energy derived from nuclear fission.

Germany's economy ministry, which handles the country's energy policy, was not available to comment on the issue.


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